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NFTE Regional Challenge Champions

On April 21, three students from McCluer North High School, in the Ferguson Florissant School District, competed in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Regional Challenge and will move on to compete in the national finals in New York City. Cassandra Childrey, sophomore at McCluer North placed first for her business idea “Flashing Hounds”, and O’Ryan Bolden and Cherish Thompson received second place for their business idea “Safe Shades”.

“The girls did an excellent job of presenting and answering questions,” said Jacob Lapinski, Business Teacher at McCluer North. “Even though they were nervous, they were very poised and professional and showed a lot of passion. These girls did a lot of work on their own through research and development for their ideas.”

Students had to pitch their projects to six judges in “Shark Tank-style” presentations. The judges asked very specific questions about each presentation, and the students had to answer each question in detail explaining how their business idea would solve a real-world problem. Childrey’s business idea, “Flashing Hounds”, was an idea for a dog leash that glows for night pet-walkers. Its goal is to cut down on pedestrians hit by cars while walking their pets at night. Bolden and Thompson’s idea called “Safe Shades” is a pharmaceutical product that allows people who take medication to quickly, and safely, alter the color of their medications for easy identification. They were awarded the following: 

  • Cassandra Childrey: First place, $1,500 and an all-expense paid trip to New York City, New York
  • O’Ryan Bolden and Cherish Thompson: Second place, $1000 and an all-expense paid trip to New York City, New York

“They worked so well under pressure,” said Lapinski. “They had to pitch an entire business plan that was completed earlier than the rest of their classmates, as well as put in a lot of time after school working and preparing for the competition. They did such an amazing job and represented McCluer North High School and the FFSD well!”